A Return to the Balance of Power?


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Depending on your worldview, political reality shifts.

But consider for a second – this perspective.

On the global scale, we see America as an isolated nation.

In reality, America possesses two qualities which render this assumption baseless.

America is majority Anglo-Saxon; America has been deeply entangled in the foreign affairs of England and the rest of Europe.

The isolationist narrative is deeply flawed and misleading. But it isn’t surprising. America is nation that sees itself as exceptional to the rest of the world. There is only one other country which possesses a similar characteristic – Israel. Both nations, are born out of ideology, not ethnic identity or language. These are conceptual nations, both of which in actuality stole land from indigenous populations. The Europeans, are actually tied to their land historically through language and culture that is distinct. Religion is secondary.

Even the Europeans engaged foreign domination but America replaced them as the unipolar hegemony. We view America and the concept of democracy as somehow special, original and superior. We think of individualism as only possible here. We see capitalism as the only security of human innovation.

But much of this narrative rests on one presumption – the political domination of the international political arena by England and America.

Just because the era of colonialism ended – does not entail the end of colonialism itself.

Since the first balance of power was realized and established by the European order between all powerful nation-states via the Treaty of Westphalia, a change as overtaken the world, due in part to technological and industrial revolutions but more importantly, to policy-decisions by elites to disrupt the tradition of balance of power for the sake of preserving American and British domination over global affairs. This has perpetuated stereotypes of all social groups and nation-states, only enabled by inequality in the global spectrum. This international political reality cannot be separated from the socio-economic miseries within each country in the world. They are all intertwined.

Prosperity and individual happiness have been, in the West, associated with capitalism and democracy. In Europe, while this is true, there is a sense of cultural heritage that preserves and cultivates unity among the population. In America, the population is more polarized – there is less cultural influence on political affairs and more ideological influence in the States.

But if corruption is equally rampant in America, then it is unfair to presume that any nation deserves the position of unipolar hegemony. Unipolar hegemony depends on domination and violations of sovereignty. The British, who attempted this more overtly in the past, faced a similar fate in India as America is currently facing in the Muslim world – brutal and irrational retaliation to a century of arbitrary occupation.

Why is America policing the world? Nobody should be.

But given the reality of politics and the possibility of an emerging threat to balance, nations act both preemptively and directly. Now that technology has enabled nations to communicate more easily, is bipolarity the natural state of politics? For the last three decades, was the Cold War merely warming up?

Whereas the conflict at once was portrayed as capitalism versus communism, is the war really between neoconservatism (imperialism guised with good intent and fear of threat, usually via democratization) versus nationalism (the ambition for sovereignty)?

Realism assumes the intent of domination; and suggests its potentiality. But what if this human quality is a cultural phenomenon more common to the West? Considering democracies prevalence in the West, and the West’s engagement in neoconservative foreign policy, could it be argued that, culturally, the West is more inclined towards domination, whereas, other states are more inclined towards national sovereignty and cultural values and traditions that may not necessarily be majoritarian democracy?

This is the basis of constructivism, a theory of international relations which explains the behavior of states as relative to their cultural orientations. Various institutions of politics are, along this line of thinking, social constructed.

The menace to global peace is neoconservatism. And while at one point communism was seen as the nemesis, it could be argued from the constructivist stance that communism was a response to American and European expansionism into the domains of other dominant powers. Today, the force attempting to resist this is now a loose coalition of Russian expansionism, Chinese assertiveness, Latin American disenchantment, European disintegration, Middle Eastern and African tumult. I argue these all would not exist in a world without an aggressive neoconservative menace.

Either it will be contained, or violence on both ends will rise.

Just like the world organized to contain communism, perhaps now the world is slowly rallying to contain America’s neoconservative trajectory.

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Bashar al-Assad Interview 2015 BBC w/ Analysis


The contradictions on behalf of Western analysts trying to rationalize their original disposition that Assad was the tyranny of the Middle East, and not for example, closer allies of the West, whom it might not be convenient to publicly expose, like Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar & the Muslim Brotherhood, in their complicity in funding terrorism, extremism & inequality in the region.

If the West intended to ask the right questions they would have asked how sure can Assad be that he has a substantial support of the Syrian population and/or diaspora?

Furthermore, their attempt to rationalize the rise of ISIS as an Assadist creation while suggesting that the West and Assad might be able to cooperate against ISIS is an inherent contradiction, a hypocrisy, which only discredits Western narratives about Middle Eastern politics even further.

It is not the duty of the West or the East to liberate the world. ISIS & terrorism from the Middle East are caused by two specific sources: Israeli fundamentalism, expansionism & colonial outposts such as the Saudi monarchy causing huge socio-economic imbalances creating a BREEDING grounds for terrorism and fanatical religious propaganda, such as Wahhabism, the essential philosophy behind all so-called muslim terrorist groups, from al Qaeda, to al Nusra & ISIS.

Remember, all of these entities need capital to survive and fight. Who is supplying them? Who is ENABLING them?

I would argue it is a coalition of two forces: the first force is more elusive because it exists in the largely free and democratic world. It is the conservative right wing. While their grip on private and public sectors remain tight, the very nature of democracy in the West forces political forces of imperial persuasions must be a little more behind the scenes. This is largely why the majority of tyrannies and injustices that exist outside of the West, have close ties with Western counties.

Terrorism and injustice cannot be prevented until their PARTICULAR roots are dissected, understood and exposed. Until then we are in a constant state of worry legitimizing these types of covert behind the scenes forms of corruption.

Danny Krikorian

Orlando, FL

Political Science – International Relations, B.A.

University of Central Florida

dannkrikorian@gmail.com

@krikos88 (T/I)

On Saudi Arabia & the Roots of Arab Elitism


Kingdom Centre

1.  A sense of entitlement and exclusiveness emanates from the Arabian peninsula, namely from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Yemen & the UAE, which has its roots embedded in a version of an Islamic narrative that ties the Arabs of this region to ancient jewish and semitic tribes.

2. This has concentrated wealth in the particular tribe of Al Saud, leaving the spoils of the Middle East’s vast oil reserves in the hands of this family, tribe and what has become a political ‘cult’.

3. The Arabian peninsula was a series of loosely ruled mandates and kingdoms, until the Saudi defeat of the kingdom of Hejaz. Al Saud would refer to this as the unification of Saudi Arabia while in reality it was a conquest of land, likely supported by colonial agents such as the British and the Americans, who saw the economic and political gains of a religiously zealous and feared, imperial and unquestioned authority such as the House of Saud.

4. This contrasts with the culture that formed the modern nation-state of Syria, which sits on the other side of the political spectrum of Middle Eastern politics. Circumstance, geography and history carved a different fate for the Syrian nation-state. Diversity and a constant foreign threat dictated the politics of Syria, and focus on collective justice pinned the country against their neighbors, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey & Kuwait as pawns of global powers, namely the West (US, UK, France, Germany).

5. The establishment of Israel by the UK and with the help and support of the vast majority of Western countries, further exasperated and intensified the exclusivist culture of bigotry, racism, hypocrisy and fundamentalism. Like the Saudis, Israelis have used prejudiced narratives to horde semitism as their own.

6. History suggests however that semitism has roots in Syria, bilad al-Sham having linguistic ties to Shem, one of the sons of Noah, a prominent biblical figure in the religions of Islam & Judaism (amongst others).

7. In Saudi Arabia, (and in Israel, and in parts of the West) where capitalism has taken hold, a culture of ownership of other human beings and of natural resources has turned rampant and has led to the theft of basic human rights; rights to expression, freedom & dignity.

8. The emphasis on paranoias of individual power-hunger has led tribes and cults like al Saud to prey on their opponents and to garner support. Saudi Arabia is among the most destabilizing forces in the world, largely veiled by their luxurious lifestyles. They’ve successfully pinned all opponents and contentious movements as anti-freedom, similar to the American strategy as pinning foes as freedom-haters.

9. One man’s freedom is another man’s slavery. Saudi Arabia is a victim of the Western capitalist machine. Even America is a victim of the Capitalist machine. America is the bastard daughter of imperialism. In today’s world, it is battling itself. In America, war is fought between democrats and republicans and independents and etc. But the rest of the world is also fighting America’s war. In Iraq, pro-west vs anti-west groups split the nation. In Syria, Libya and Egypt, similar scenarios unfold.

10. Communism was portrayed by politicians and ideologues of the 19th and 20th centuries as a threat to the capitalism of the West when in reality it was merely a guised reflection of the same ideology bent on ownership of human beings and natural resources. This is what happens when ideas become our Gods. The ‘authentic’ resistance to Western imperialism turned out to be a hoax, a farce, a deception, carefully orchestrated.

11. Imperialism is the umbrella idea, and all other ideas are expressions of it. The enemy of imperialism is national sovereignty. Germany, America, Syria, the actual would-be nation-state of the Gulf, Japan, China, etc – these are all nations that are threatened by imperialism. Imperialism, the ideology that takes over nations, owns humans, and resources, is expressed in today’s world through Zionism, American Republicanism, Chinese Communism, Russian Oligarchy, Saudi Wahhabism, Lebanese Phalangism.

12. Once imperialism is rooted out, national & global criminals will be exposed. The world cannot afford such power-hunger. The crime is not desire. The crime is not excess. The crime is power-hunger. Anyone who says different is using it as a distraction. All men deserve freedom, dignity and the right to expression and prosperity – and the only barrier to these ambitions is the kind of ideology that seeks to justify suppressing them – imperial dogmatic religions.

13. The great evil is not atheism. It is not theism. It is both. Together, because ultimately the roots of both of these is a desire for power. The true believer is not held hostage to either vanity.

14. God save the Middle East and bring the world to justice.

DAWUD


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Had an interesting conversation with a dear friend of mine on the issue of the debate between religion and science, atheism and theism. 

While I sought to avoid all the useless rhetoric which leads to no answers – I sought to reconcile what I believe to be two perceptions that are not all quite that different. What I have noticed as a common denominator amongst so-called atheists is a disdain more-so for the morose attributes of religion rather than the philosophy and intellectualism behind it. In reality, even in today’s modern world, religion is a tool for control, power and crime (as expressed through politics), which does nothing to improve the image of the philosophy behind theology in the first place. 

Social liberalism grew largely out of the resistance movements against monarchism, despotism, authoritarianism, and socio-economic control. Since most of these ‘tyrants’ in history were in fact justifying their actions through religious dogma, it only makes sense that individuals would be repulsed by the idea altogether. But just as there have been religiously dogmatic tyrants, there have also been irreligiously dogmatic tyrants. And in the midst of it all, we’ve even had tyrants who could not make the decision for themselves, such as Hitler, who in one angle portrays himself as a God-fearing messiah, and in other, an anti-judaic anti-christ. Stalin and Lenin worked to disenfranchise religion entirely from the socio-political scene. 

Ultimately, each individual ought to be free – atheist or not. In the end it seems to me what matters are the virtues of life that are carried in philosophy altogether. Religious fanatics will claim you cannot be good without obedience to organized religion; atheists claim you can be ABSOLUTELY moral without the help of God. Both seem quite extreme. I sympathize with the atheist however, because religious dogma is terrifying. Yet, I do believe that without God, man falls prey to hubris, which eventually leads to power-grabbing, and an obstruction of human liberty and dignity. 

Ultimately, I must say I am devoted to the Abrahamic God – and I believe all truth and beauty resonates from Him. The wonders of philosophy, morality, existentialism, and secularism as well – all of these resonate from that wonderful truth which is perfection – the Lord of the worlds. No, I do not traditionally welcome the Christian anthropomorphic version of God, and I do reject the evangelical and fundamentalistic zionist interpretation of God – seeing both of these as equally dogmatic and detrimental to individual liberty, dignity, and truth. 

I am a muslim and a jew. I believe in the message of Allah. I do so philosophically, however not ‘religiously’. I submit to God – not to one man’s devious understanding of God. 

 

References:

http://www.salon.com/2013/02/23/10_celebs_you_didnt_know_were_atheists_partner/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow


they spread lies to make it seem like we don’t have enough resources to be individual dreamers.